One last journal entry on this subject.
Loffreda spends 3-4 pages talking about ShadowGov (I refuse to link to them in this diary, and have my website linked with theirs via click-through stats). She makes them sound almost benign--fundamentalists (laughably) waiting for the collapse of the U.S. gov't so they can move in and establish "biblical law" (the only punishments for crimes would be retribution, corporal punishment, and death). There are only about 40 members in the group, and she characterizes their representative as "amiable" and "friendly" and says that even after he announces to her that they would recriminalize homosexuality and do away with feminism, she finds him likeable.
All I've got to say on this subject is she has obviously not been put on their mailing list. The first time she opens up her mailbox to find hate literature, like a flyer telling her why the only good queer is a dead queer, why she deserves to be killed, she'll probably start thinking they're not so polite. I don't know how they got our home address, but I find it a bit creepy that with only 40 people scouring the planet for GLBT people to harass, they managed to find us.
And now for another view of Losing Matt Shepard (just to show you I'm open to new ideas). I'm stealing this from Amazon.com, and I'm probably going to burn in some Christian's hell for it.
"The author lost Matthew Shepard; he doesn't appear in the book, and neither does his murder. He is a ghost. Which is a true shame. Most of the book is softly pitched post-modern pyrotechnics. Loffreda avoids the hard questions, and omits crucial information to understanding what happened that cold, cold night. Loffreda dodges the role religion played in Matt's murder. One of Matt's killers was an Eagle Scout and an elder in the Mormon church. Also Loffreda makes a great deal about the fact that the killers attacked two latinos after killing Matt, as if racism is tied to homophobia. We aren't told that the latinos were homophobic thugs themselves, out slashing tires and looking for trouble. This book isn't about Matthew or even his murder, but if you can get past the author's sideways approach to the subject of homophobia it is a worthwhile read."
My reply would be:
The best thing about this book is that Matt Shepard is "lost" in it. It's not really about his murder, I don't think, it's about what goes on before and after the murder. Matt Shepard was never "found" for any of us--we didn't know him, we only know what the media told us about him, and I like the fact that Loffreda understands that.
Also, I'm not sure how anyone can really split homophobia off from racism. If they're not the same thing, they're definitely siblings. Or at least first cousins. It doesn't matter that the other two men assaulted by Matt's murderers were "homophobic thugs" (I got that they were thugs from the book, by the way, so Loffreda did cover that part)--they were still of Mexican-American descent, and the author has a few suggestion as to why that mattered in the bigger picture of Laramie. The person above sounds like he/she is saying, "they were homophobic thugs, out tagging and vandalizing, so it's okay that the killers tried pistol whip them to death, too." Get real.
Also, the author did talk about religion, but I have to agree with her--it's not a straight line from the religious right to a fence in a field outside Laramie. These two guys weren't saying, "We have to kill you in God's name," after all. The religious right can be blamed for fanning flames and encouraging discrimination and even murder, but it's not clear in this case that the killers were listening to anything outside of their own heads.